Nuance Discontinues Dragon Professional Individual for Mac

Discussion in 'Mac Blog Discussion' started by MacRumors, Oct 24, 2018.

  1. Ledgem macrumors 68000

    Ledgem

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    Jan 18, 2008
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    Hawaii, USA
    #26
    Really saddened to hear this... and also feeling guilty, because over the past year or so I've gotten a handful of my Mac-toting colleagues onto Dragon for Mac. They've adopted it into their workflows, and now they'll be screwed, too.

    I actually have both Dragon Medical and Dragon Professional for Mac (long story). I found that the Professional version worked better, given its newer dictation engine. Sure, you had to customize the dictionary, but once you put a bit of work into that it was smooth sailing. And despite what Nuance said, the Professional version worked just fine with Epic (and even Cerner); the medical version didn't have anything special over it. The Windows version did, but interestingly, Dragon Medical 360 (the latest and greatest Windows version) has big issues outside of Epic, at least for my hospital's version. From the medical standpoint, my wife's clinic dumped Dragon (Windows) in favor of M*Modal, and she finds it to be superior. Unfortunately, they seem to be totally focused on medical practices; there is no personal edition.

    I was using the software for a number of personal things, too, and found it invaluable. I was looking forward to seeing what the next version would bring.

    Siri is good, but can't compare for extended dictation. I started out with Siri; for me, Siri would make about one error every sentence or two, but Dragon could go for multiple paragraphs without an error. The customization and ability to refine pronunciation recognition makes a big difference.

    I haven't seen any competing products... if anyone knows of any, please share. I guess I'll need to make a virtual machine for macOS 10.13 if I want to be sure that Dragon will keep working as expected.
     
  2. AppleInLVX macrumors 65816

    AppleInLVX

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2010
    #27
    The software was useless for anything fiction or casual use related. Dragon was so precious you couldn't get it to type out swear words for all the gold in the world. It wouldn't even use the word "manure", always correcting to "manoeuvre" no matter how often it was trained. For my use, Siri was always better, although I'm sorry you've been shafted by them. You aren't the first, is all I can say.
     
  3. Yebdox macrumors newbie

    Yebdox

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2018
    Location:
    Spokane, WA
    #28
    I had given up on dragon for Mac after purchasing the upgrade three or four years in a row and always finding it completely buggy after a days trial. Recently, a friend told me that he found Dragon to be fairly stable on Sierra and High Sierra, so I purchased the upgrade and went to work. It has worked reasonably well, with several workarounds required and some untrainable words in my vocabulary, but I've been working hard over the last six weeks to make it truly functional, with lots of text corrections and additions. Typical Nuance garbage in how they have managed their software. Happy to take your money without any support whatsoever.

    The work I've done should still pay off for the next 3 to 6 months, and as I quickly peruse the controls for the OS dictation, there's not too much that's missing, although text manipulation is a bit off. It appears as though you can add vocabulary, but I don't see a way currently to export what I've created to another computer, other than to print out a list and then manually enter that vocabulary into a different terminal. One thing I have discovered is that Dragon would work across terminals on a screen share, but the OS dictation engine will not.

    I will check back here from time to time to see how people work with this deficit. In the meantime, can anyone tell me if the latest version of Dragon works on Mojave, or if there have been any improvements with the onboard dictation engine in Mojave?
     
  4. Ledgem macrumors 68000

    Ledgem

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    #29
    I used Dragon for both medical dictation and for personal documents... not fiction, but just general conversational usage. I needed to add a bit to the vocabulary for the medical part, and I needed to add some names, but it worked pretty well for me. But then, I was dictating with the use of a dictaphone-style handset (hand-held for superior accuracy; headsets have worse accuracy). Not sure if that made some of the difference.

    Siri was how I first started testing out dictation; maybe things have improved. It'd be great to use it, not least of all because Siri underlines things it thinks it may have gotten wrong, and gives you other choices (similar to Dragon's "correct that" panel). The lack of vocabulary customization is going to be a hard one to overcome, though...

    I'm curious about this, as well. Dragon was really the only thing holding me back from the Mojave upgrade... I figure that if no viable native solution becomes available, I might run an earlier version of macOS in a virtual machine, and continue to use Dragon that way. Seems kind of silly, though... hopefully we get another choice soon. The dictation engine might be difficult to get right, but I don't think Dragon's stability or integration would be too hard to beat.
     
  5. Yebdox macrumors newbie

    Yebdox

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    Oct 21, 2018
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    #30
    I went to try to upgrade an older Macbook Pro to Mojave to test Dragon on it, only to find that 2012 was the cutoff for eligibility of processors (this one is a mid year 2011 model.) But, I still have my 2016 Macbook Pro that I already upgraded to Mojave, just haven't installed Dragon on it, due to the single port/ dongle issue, but will give it a go.

    One minor bonus, I think we can now install Dragon on multiple machines without purchasing additional licenses, at least a recent install on an upgraded machine didn't generate a question on eligibility, as other installs had (I think I purchased 4 or 6 licenses for our office, but was getting an alert, and still getting the install to take.) More later. Oh, and messing with the OS dictation is much slower, although I have not tried to customize the dictionary. Not sure that it will be a match for Dragon, although it doesn't seem to care if you type at the same time, so with TextExpander installed, and jockeying back and forth between snippets and dictation, I think I can still get my medical charts handled. I let my transcriptionist of 13 years retire 2 months ago:(
     
  6. cactustweeter, Nov 9, 2018
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2018

    cactustweeter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2015
    #31
    --- Post Merged, Nov 9, 2018 ---
    Some may say no big deal that software sucks. Well, for someone like myself who uses the software daily to control his Mac completely by voice it is a big deal. I have no use of my arms and since Dragon Dictate 2.0 I've been able to use my Mac completely hands-free by voice complements of Dragon Dictate for Mac. Being able to use a computer completely hands-free is very enabling for a high-level quadriplegic. I was looking forward to upgrading to macOS Mojave but now it looks like I'm screwed.

    I know Apple has built-in voice recognition. It's pretty good but it lacks all the features needed to run the computer hands-free by voice. I know Apple has the resources and expertise to add these missing features. How do I get them interested in enhancing macOS built-in speech recognition to allow complete operation of the Mac by voice? If you want to do me and others with physical limitations that need to control their computer by voice a favor go and create a macOS enhancement request as I describe here:

    https://www.dropbox.com/s/5iu9xsjgw6rka7u/Dragon for Mac Favor Request.pdf?dl=0
     
  7. VulchR macrumors 68020

    VulchR

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2009
    Location:
    Scotland
    #32
    Done. :)

    I used to use the software for voice dictation because I am dyslexic, but then it got so flaky and the company was so awful I just gave up. Apple should just buy Dragon and whip the company into shape. Given that Apple supposedly prides itself on making its OS accessible, it is rather poor to have relied on such a crap company like Dragon to provide Mac users this essential service.
     
  8. George Kafantaris macrumors newbie

    George Kafantaris

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2015
    #33
    This is actually bad news for Mac -- and Apple -- not Nuance’s Dragon.
     
  9. Ledgem macrumors 68000

    Ledgem

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2008
    Location:
    Hawaii, USA
    #34
    Has anyone upgraded to Mojave and tried Dragon yet? I'm still having trouble finding out if it's workable or not.
     
  10. Joy23 macrumors newbie

    Joy23

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2018
    Location:
    Brighton
    #35
    then you are obviously blessed with the use of your hands now there is no option for disabled people who relied on this software . Screwed by Nuance and Mac simultaneously .
     
  11. Doc C macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2013
    #36

    Gotta love Apple - I went to the website on my iPad and the site doesn’t even render properly (the comment field doesn’t appear). So basically, I can’t submit a bug report because of a bug on the reporting website.

    I am interested to see how many physicians seem to use Dragon. Many in my office and at the hospital where I work try to use it. I had previously found that it is more efficient to pay a transcriptionist rather than fight with the dictation. I wonder if that has changed somewhat (for the Windows version)?

    Also, I’m curious regarding experiences with Epic. It’s one of the EMRs that our hospital is looking at, but reviews seem mixed. Anyone willing to comment or add their experiences?
     
  12. cactustweeter macrumors newbie

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    Sep 12, 2015
    #37
    Thank you!
     
  13. Ledgem macrumors 68000

    Ledgem

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2008
    Location:
    Hawaii, USA
    #38
    I've never used a standard transcriptionist; by the time I was doing my training, our hospitals were strongly recommending against dictation. Dragon for Mac isn't bad, but Dragon 360 (the current Windows-based, medical practice version) is far better. With Dragon for Mac I'd need to slow down or pause every now and then to let Dragon type things out, but with the Windows version I can just keep going. I can even speak at a fast pace and it seems to get it with near-100% accuracy (which I usually do when dictating physical exam findings). Sometimes my enunciation is off to the point where someone probably would have needed me to repeat a word, but Dragon still gets it. There are still times when it misses silly things, but those feel pretty rare. And the nice thing about Dragon vs. standard transcription is that you can see it in real time, and correct it right then and there. When I was a medical student some of the doctors would dictate, but by the time the dictation came back, they either wouldn't remember what the blanks in the document (things the transcriptionist couldn't understand) were, or... they'd just never go back to review the document.

    What I think a lot of people don't realize is that Dragon uses artificial intelligence. The first time you start dictating is the worst it will ever be, but a lot of people stop if it isn't perfect from the start and give up. Keep at it, keep telling it to correct things, and it learns your speech patterns.

    I've used a fair number of EMRs at this point, and Epic is the best... with the caveat being that your hospital needs to have it thoughtfully set up. I've worked at a place where information was put into areas that required more clicks to get to (instead of being localized) and also prevented some searchable capabilities...
     
  14. ignatius345 macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2015
    #39
    Done as well. I categorized my feedback as "Feature Request" under "Universal Access/Accessibility".

    BTW, I found copying from that PDF in Dropbox misformatted the text, so here's a cleaned up version to copy and paste, for anyone else who wants to leave Apple feedback to advocate for accessibility:

    ------------------------

     
  15. Doc C macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2013
    #40
    Thanks for reformatting. The website seemed to work this time, so request has been submitted.
     
  16. VictorTango777, Nov 28, 2018
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2018

    VictorTango777 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2017
    #41
    I always find it funny when professional users in certain industries (such as medical) discuss specialized products used in their field and then some home user with no experience in the industry comes in and says something like "Just use Siri".

    Still waiting to see:
    Apple data centers filled with Mac Minis running MacOS Server.
    Wall Street stock exchanges running their trading floors using Apple Stocks app.
    Hollywood movie studios shooting entirely on iPhone and editing in IOS iMovie.
     
  17. Ledgem macrumors 68000

    Ledgem

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2008
    Location:
    Hawaii, USA
    #42
    I upgraded to macOS 10.14.1 "Mojave" recently, and Dragon Professional v6 loads and seems to work as expected for basic dictation (I don't use it for commands, other than text-based commands like "new paragraph"). I haven't done massive-length dictations with it yet, nor any dictation into Citrix, but it seems to work well enough with standard Mac applications.
     
  18. MagneticMan macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2018
    #43
    --- Post Merged, Dec 10, 2018 ---
    Originally I used Dragon with Windows around 15+ years ago. When I decided to start using a Mac, I had to get Dragon for that. I persevered and persevered, updating continually in the hope that one day it would actually work as intended. As I need a quality and fast product for my work (I produced 4800 pages of transcription last year), I finally decided to bite the bullet and install Parallels on my Mac, then Windows and then Dragon Professional 15. What an absolute game changer. And to top it all off, because I am running it on a Mac, I can use my Apple AirPods for listening to audio for transcription and then actually transcribing that audio straight into Dragon using the same AirPods. My point? If you absolutely must have as close to perfection as you need, then for Mac users I suggest doing what I have done and not only will you find it pleasantly amazing but you will also get back some of your sanity that you lost when using Dragon for Mac. PS: Dragon still has a few little hiccups, but they can generally be worked around.
     
  19. VulchR macrumors 68020

    VulchR

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2009
    Location:
    Scotland
    #44
    Thanks for the information. I might try it. Still, it is frustrating there is not a MacOS product that would do the job. I really, really don't like Windows.
     
  20. ssmed macrumors 6502

    ssmed

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    Sep 28, 2009
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    UK
    #45
    I concur with this – I am running bootcamp on an older Mac and Dragon is a completely different (and competent program )
     
  21. MagneticMan macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2018
    #46
    I agree, I am not a Windows person at all, having been with Macs for so long now. But sometimes there is no alternative, and if the alternative works, go for it.
     
  22. VulchR macrumors 68020

    VulchR

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2009
    Location:
    Scotland
    #47
    I do use Windows (and UNIX) when I must. I suppose the good thing is that Parallels runs so well on a Mac. Indeed, I think the Mac is the best platform for running Windows. I'll give Dragon on Windows a try. :)
     
  23. Tom Blake macrumors newbie

    Tom Blake

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2015
    Location:
    Italy
    #48
    Oh good, it's not just me! I have spent a fortune with Nuance over the years for software that never failed to disappoint. It surprises me that companies like this do as well as they do when they're so transparently evil. Don't even get me started on MacKeeper!!
     
  24. katewes macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2007
    #49
    Yes, me too. Over the years since the mid 2005, I've been buying iteration after iteration of MacSpeech and later Dragon Dictate, always following their promise that each iteration has better accuracy. With the most recent versions, I actually found it suitable for my professional needs. It's therefore very disappointing that they are dropping support for Mac.

    Until today, I'd never taken the time to read user feedback about Nuance, but the impression I held matches the flavor of the prevailing view that Nuance are corporate wolves.

    And, may I add, it's partly Apple's fault. This silly annual upgrade cycle of macOS causes programs like VMWare and Dragon to always not be compatible with the latest macOS, and having to pay many hundreds of dollars to upgrade all the software, just because Apple make so much critically important software obsolete with each macOS update.
     
  25. Ledgem macrumors 68000

    Ledgem

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    Jan 18, 2008
    Location:
    Hawaii, USA
    #50
    I don't know about that. You could argue that having a "major" update each year means that each update isn't as ground-breaking as when we used to get a new operating system every 2-3 years. I suspect that a lot of companies have chained themselves to Apple's annual operating system upgrade not because they need to, but because it's almost like putting themselves onto a subscription software model without needing to take the blame for pushing out paid updates so often (because they can just blame the operating system update, and then people would in turn shrug and accept it or blame Apple). Case in point, Dragon 6 works just fine on Mojave. I don't use VMware but Parallels, and I think I must be three or more versions behind at this point, and the software still works fine. It lacks all of the supposed integrated features that "take advantage of the latest operating system" but it's not like the software breaks entirely.

    If there is a cost to the companies, it would be performing compatibility testing, which is likely a pain. But I'd imagine they do this with major point release (or service packs, for Windows; possibly even some security updates) as well.

    (Granted, I'm sure there are some software products out there that do break with each new OS release, but it certainly doesn't seem to be the vast majority of software based on what I've seen.)
     

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